Four American presidents have been assassinated. Lincoln had the dubious distinction of being the first, although an attempt had been made on Andrew Jackson's life in 1835. The story behind the assassination is far too complex to be addressed in a few paragraphs. For that reason, I have chosen to divide it into seven areas, listed below. The story of the murder of the president flows best when read in the order in which they are listed, but it is not absolutely necessary to follow in that order to learn the story.
When Abraham Lincoln decided to go to Ford's Theater that fateful April 14, 1865, the course of American history was changed. Would Reconstruction have gone more smoothly, and been more palatable to Southerners, had Lincoln lived? What could he have accomplished in a second term without the burden of war to divert his attention? Would the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution have passed more easily with Lincoln alive to spearhead it, or would it have faced a more difficult struggle for passage without the votes cast in tribute to the late President? These and other questions have fascinated historians since Lincoln's death, and will continue to do so for years to come.
Follow the story now and form your own conclusions: